Preserved Lemons Recipe

Preserved Lemons Recipe

Yield: makes 1 (1-pint) jar  |  Total time: 3 weeks hours
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These can be made in any size jar, just be sure to sterilize it first.  Use about 1 tablespoon salt per lemon. Don’t be afraid to push the lemons into the jar, squeezing out the lemon juice, and leaving enough room at the top for additional salt and lemon juice to cover.

Recipe and Photos by Jennifer McGovern.  This recipe accompanies Jennifer's post on Preserved Lemons.


4 to 5 Meyer Lemons, preferably organic, washed and scrubbed

6 to 7 Tablespoons Kosher Salt, plus more, as needed

More lemon juice as needed

Bay leaf, cloves, cardamom pods (optional)

One sterilized pint jar


  1. Slice stem off the top of each lemon, then slice through each lemon lengthwise into fourths or sixths, being careful not to cut all the way through; the lemon should remain attached at the base. Collect all the lemons in a shallow bowl, spreading each one out. Add one tablespoon salt to each lemon, working it into the inside flesh and covering the outside rind as well as you can.

  2. Add two tablespoons salt to the bottom of the sterilized jar. One by one, add lemons to the jar, squeezing them down as you go. If salt remains at the bottom of your shallow pan, pour the salty liquid into the jar. At this point, you can slide in some other spices, like clove, bay leaf, cardamom, etc., if desired. When you can’t press any more lemons into the jar, add two more tablespoons salt. Cover, and let the jar sit on the counter for at least three days, turning upside down to disperse the salt each day. If there isn’t enough juice to cover the lemon rinds completely, add more fresh squeezed lemon juice until they are fully submerged in liquid. Store in the refrigerator; continue to shake jar to distribute salt for three weeks until solution has darkened and peels have softened. Preserved lemons will last in the refrigerator for over a year.

Date Published: March 4, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

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